Chosen and Loved

Ephesians 1:1-11 (NLT) ~

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. 

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.  He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

There are three truths found in this passage in Ephesians that teach us that it is possible to have joy in the midst of struggle, peace in the middle of a storm and assurance that God is with us.

1. God loved us and chose us before creation.

Before the world was made and before you were even formed in your mother, God loved you. He knew the person you would be and He had a plan for your life. He has worked through the circumstances and situations in your life to draw you to this point where you can hear about Him. For those of you who have a relationship with God, He has orchestrated every part of your life to bring Him glory. For those who don’t have a relationship with God, He longs for that relationship and wants to draw you to Himself.

Psalm 139:1-16 tells us that God knows every thought you’ve ever had, every word that has passed your lips and every action you’ve ever taken. 

You may have embraced the knowledge of God and desired to know Him better. He has been there and shown you who He is. You may have run away from the thought of God and rejected Him. He knows that too and is still there – waiting for you to acknowledge Him.

No matter how much we may have tried, we cannot get away from God. Even if we don’t accept Him in this life, we will face Him some day. He wants to have a relationship with you, but won’t shove Himself on you. He quietly waits for you to acknowledge Him. 

Our earthly parents or relatives may reject us. People may let us down and disappoint us. But God never does. He has chosen each and every one of you.

2. He predestined us to be adopted into His family and it brings Him pleasure.

I have friends who cannot have children of their own due to health problems, so began to pray about the possibility of adoption. But they decided to adopt children whom were otherwise deemed unadoptable. Some of these were children who had been born to drug-addicted mothers. As a result of being born with drugs in their systems, every single one of their adopted children have disabilities. Their family struggles as they walk through these different problems associated with these disabilities but they have made a point of making sure these children know that they are loved, wanted and valued.

God does this for us as well. He decided, in advance, for us to be adopted into His family. Despite our mess and dysfunction, He wants us to be a part of His holy family. And He doesn’t just do it out of obligation or duty, but it brings Him pleasure.  Your inheritance into God’s kingdom is the thing that brings Him joy. 

He is delighted with you!

3. He purchased our freedom with the blood of Jesus Christ.

The final point is that before we come to a saving knowledge of God, we are in bondage. We cannot rid ourselves of our mess, bad attitudes, bad character and bad behavior. It’s only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. God longed for a relationship with us and He wants us to be part of His family. But that could not happen. We were captive to our old natures. 

But God purchased our freedom by sending His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus then rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and intercedes for us. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, our bonds have been broken.

Jesus paid the price. He provided a way for us to be free. All we need to do is believe, pray for forgiveness and then live as a child in God’s family. It’s that easy!

I want to leave you with the encouragement that God loved and chose you before the creation of the world, He wants to adopt you into His family which brings Him great pleasure, and this is done through shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.

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